Marc GUILLEMOT (FRA) on Safran is in agreement: "It's like an oven down below... And I caught a flying fish in my ballast tank: I've got it out but it's not in good condition! We should pass the equator tonight [Brazilian time] and I'm beginning to shift to the West a little more than my friends: I've decided to separate myself from the fleet who don't want me any more and I reckon that the best option is the American one as opposed to the African one. We'll see. The boat's going well and is proving to be very successful..." he said.
In the same leader group, the solo sailors contacted by radio informed us of their small technical issues: Mike GOLDING (GBR) on Ecover said, "I've had ballast problems and the leak has spread across the boat flooding the engine and the batteries. However, I have managed to contain the leak and resolve the electrical issues now. My new boat, which had only done four days at sea before the TJV goes really well downwind and reaching and it's okay upwind too. I'm not much looking forward to the doldrums it has to be said!"
On Cheminées Poujoulat, Bernard STAMM (SUI) also had his hands in the tool box: "I have computer problems: my main computer has crashed and since Saturday lunchtime I haven't been able to get any grib files. I'm making do with my secondary computer. Right now, the wind is on the beam at fifteen knots but I had a squall this morning and the seas are still a bit messy."
Squalls have also been on the menu for the chasing pack but already their 100-200 deficit is starting to show. "I am a bit tired due to the squalls sweeping across the zone… I've manoeuvred by hoisting the gennaker a few hours ago but I had to go back to the solent later..." observed Yannick BESTAVEN (FRA) on Cervin EnR. And for Jean-Baptiste DEJEANTY (FRA) on Maisonneuve: "I am off the islands of Fernando de Noronha. I was still with Roxy yesterday evening, but Samantha is going a tad quicker. In fact the boat is finding it hard to punch through the big chop so I'm trying out some new sail combinations!"
The 15 sailors are gradually plugging along towards the change in hemisphere this Sunday, the leaders crossing the equator at around 28-29° West in the middle of the night. Meantime the first chasing pack (Roxy, Maisonneuve, Akena Vérandas) will cross into the north about eight hours later and Dee CAFFARI (GBR) on Aviva, delayed by her express return to Bahia, should reach the same hemisphere at the end of Monday. There is still a long, long way to go before the finish though and CAFFARI's confidence has been boosted by a successful spell under her repaired gennaker...
Transat Ecover-BtoB - www.transatbtob.com